Philippines Red Cross hostage rescued

April 18, 2009 at 7:00 AM
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MANILA, Philippines, April 18 (UPI) -- One of the remaining two aid workers held hostage by Filipino rebels has been rescued, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Saturday.

Andreas Notter, one of three aid workers kidnapped Jan. 15 on the Philippines island of Sulu by Islamic militants, has been freed, ICRC officials said from the organization's Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters.

CNN said Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo told the Philippine News Agency that "sketchy reports" indicated Notter had been found by security forces facing off against the kidnappers.

Another hostage, Mary Jean Lacaba, was released earlier this month while the third Red Cross staffer, Eugenio Vagni, remains in captivity, officials said. The three were abducted by armed men riding motorcycles while in Sulu to inspect a provincial prison, the ICRC has said.

The kidnappers are believed to with Abu Sayyaf, a militant group with alleged ties to al-Qaida.

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